News

Monday, September 21, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – The City is improving street lighting along Highway 28 between Cold Lake North and Cold Lake South by installing energy-efficient LED light fixtures.

The current high-pressure sodium (HPS, also known as high-intensity discharge, or HID) lights were installed during the twinning of the highway in 2009 and 2010, and have passed the end of their life expectancy.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – As municipalities across Alberta continue to discuss the use of masks and face coverings in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Cold Lake is not considering a mandatory mask bylaw.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake dog owners can now access the City’s first off-leash dog park. Located at Imperial Park, just south of the pickleball courts, the park boasts over 45,000 square feet of fenced area for dogs to play, exercise and socialize safely and in a controlled environment. The park is separated into areas for large and small dogs and includes two staging areas, where owners can remove or attach their dog’s leash before entering or exiting the park.

Signs regarding rules for park use are being installed. Dog owners are required to ensure:

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake has installed updated, colour-coordinated signage in 19 City parks and public spaces. The new signs will help residents and visitors easily identify City parks and provide a consistent design and theme for all parks in the city. The updated signage features the name of the park written in white text, set against a deep red background with a blue-green waterscape design. The new signs have been installed at the following locations:

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Cold Lake Energy Centre has retrofitted its old lights to new, energy-efficient LEDs that will provide an anticipated annual utility savings of almost $15,000.  

Friday, August 21, 2020

Cold Lake City Council will forward its resolution opposing the federal gun ban to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for consideration by its membership.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Ice is being made at the Energy Centre in preparation for the upcoming winter sports season.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Two critical wastewater projects received grant funding from the Alberta Municipal Water/Waste Water Partnership.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Cold Lake Meals on Wheels program is offering a 50-per-cent discount to help its clients through challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Cold Lake Mountain Bike Park has had beginner trails added, with plans for more advanced trails to be made by the end of this year’s construction season.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Some sidewalks and trails in the city will be seeing an upgrade this construction season.

As part of the 2020 Sidewalks and Trail Connectivity Enhancement Project, five different areas will see improvements being made to allow for better pedestrian accessibility.

“Our sidewalks and trails are important in the city,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “A lot of people use them to access different parks, and it gives safer access for pedestrians to reach popular areas.”

Friday, July 10, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Residents can expect to see more street improvements in 2020, as the Annual Capital Street Improvement Program commences.

“The focus is on streets that have a fair amount of traffic, or those that can no longer wait for repairs,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “The streets picked each year are chosen based on analytic software that looks closely at the street and its usage, and long-term capital investment strategies.”

The road analytics software examines the surface distress index of roadways and degradation curves to assist in making decisions on pavement resurfacing.

The following areas are included in the 2020 Capital Street Improvement Program, at a cost of $1.7 million capital investment:

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – A project to replace the road to the Cold Lake Museums will also allow for the facilities’ infrastructure to be upgraded; a neighbourhood’s drainage concerns to be addressed, and will pave the way for future development.

Work has begun to replace the lower stretch of 69 Avenue leading to the Cold Lake Museums and the Cold Lake Mountain Bike Park. The long-standing request to rebuild the road will take place at the same time as the museums’ water line is replaced and up-sized. The water line upgrade will also allow for future developments in the area to be serviced.

Finally, drainage improvements will be made that will help to alleviate storm-water concerns in the Tri-City Estates area.

“Thanks to our staff’s forward-thinking approach we are able to tackle a number of issues at once, and use tax dollars as efficiently as possible so that infrastructure is installed in a coordinated manner,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Any one of these projects would have a significant and positive impact on the area, but being able to tackle them all at once allows for cost savings through efficiencies and the proper staging of the project phases, minimizing the chance that newly built infrastructure will be disturbed by future projects.”

Monday, June 29, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – At its Regular Council Meeting last week, council voted to operate the North Arena for the next season, with a decision surrounding future operations to be based on information from a life-cycle audit for the facility.

For the 2020/2021 season, the arena will operate Monday to Friday for all interested user groups, and to accommodate Cold Lake Minor Hockey’s request for additional ice time. The decision effectively stays council’s decision during the 2020 budget deliberations to shutter the facility.

“We’ve heard from Cold Lake Minor Hockey that the additional ice time is important for their schedule and so we’ve committed to running the facility for this next season the same way we did for the past season,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Ultimately, council will see what the cost of keeping the North Area will be once the audit is complete.”

Friday, June 26, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake City Council has voted to voice its opposition to the federal government’s decision to ban a number of firearms, and the planned buy-back program associated with the ban.

The decision was made after a notice of motion was tabled by Councillor Kirk Soroka at city council’s June 9, 2020 Regular Meeting. A resolution put forward in the notice of motion was debated and passed at council’s regular meeting this week.

“Council debated if this was an issue that we, as a municipality, wanted to wade into,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Ultimately, we felt that the federal government’s gun ban will be an expensive exercise that will only serve to take law abiding people’s property, while doing nothing to reduce crime. Municipalities are the level of government closest to the people, and a large part of our budget and operations is focused on providing safe and healthy communities. We see forecasts of hundreds of millions of federal dollars to be spent to buy guns back from people. As these are people who went through the necessary education, background checks, and licencing to purchase them, it seems to be a poorly thought out plan, especially if its aim is to reduce crime.”

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake Transit will be returning to its regular operating hours, but still implementing other COVID-19 safety protocols.

City of Cold Lake Council voted on Tuesday to have Cold Lake Transit resume regular hours, but not without precautions, such as physical distancing of two metres, and regular sanitization of high-touch areas.

“We have seen an impact on ridership due to COVID-19,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “Though this was expected, there are still a lot of people who rely on transit to get them to and from work and shopping areas, like grocery stores.”

The return to regular hours means Saturday service will resume from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, and the buses will be operating Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, with no service on Sundays or statutory holidays except Canada Day and Remembrance Day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake council settled on a spot for the new off-leash dog park, opting to place the amenity at Imperial Park, south of the pickle ball courts.

“This has been a long-standing request from the community that we are happy to move forward on,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Staff members will work out the details of the facility based on the budget, but council was able to find a location that will allow for a quick, successful start, as well as some opportunities to expand the park and add amenities in the future.”

Council settled on the location due to its proximity to ample parking, the ability to scale the park’s size to suit budget, its central location, and the ability to include other amenities at the site. The final size of the park will depend on the amount of fencing that can be purchased with the budget available.

Basic features of the park will include fencing, signage, waste bag stations and receptacles, as well as a staging entrance. Additional features which may be included if the budget allows, or if future phases are approved, could include separate areas for small and large dogs, benches, shade features, water services extended to the park, lighting, and agility obstacles.

Monday, June 22, 2020

The City of Cold Lake would like to remind residents that it will not be hosting any formal Canada Day festivities this year, including the parade, beach activities, concert, and fireworks show.

“All of these events have a tendency to bring out thousands of people,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “While we are all going to miss these celebrations, we are following the Province of Alberta’s recommendations. With encouraged physical distancing of two metres, and a limit of 100 people at outdoor events, we just couldn’t see a way to proceed with our celebrations and still follow these guidelines.”

Although there are no official celebrations, Kinosoo Beach is open to the public, so long as users can keep proper physical distancing. Other summer activities are also possible, as the sports fields, slo-pitch diamonds, skate park, trails, and other outdoor facilities are currently open.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – One of two water reservoirs in Cold Lake South will be modernized so that it can continue to supply residents with water during a power outage.

At its regular meeting last week, council voted to expand the scope of the Building #10 Modernization Project to include a new pumps, upgrades to the electrical systems and a back-up generator. The generator will ensure that power outages will not affect the water distribution system in Cold Lake South. Cold Lake South has two reservoirs, however no power back-up generation exists. An additional $452,000 was added to the project’s budget to cover the cost of the upgrade and bids that came in higher than expected. The total modernization project stands at $1.35 million. The additional money was allocated from the Gas Tax Fund, an infrastructure grant available to all municipalities.

Cold Lake North has one reservoir in its distribution system, which has already been equipped with backup power.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – At its June 9 Regular Meeting, Cold Lake City Council passed changes to the city’s Land Use Bylaw that will allow for cannabis micro-production as a Discretionary Use in facilities on commercially zoned land.

Micro-processors are also subject to federal and provincial regulations and licencing requirements. The Government of Canada’s Cannabis Act and Regulations allow for micro-processing licences for businesses that will not use more than 600 kilograms of dried cannabis in a year in the production of their product. Such businesses can produce edibles, topicals and CBD products, but cannot cultivate cannabis. Micro-processors cannot sell product directly to the public, but must sell into the regulated cannabis supply chain for resale through licenced cannabis shops.

As a Discretionary Use, an application for cannabis micro processing operations in a commercially zoned area would trigger notifications to surrounding land owners. The Development Authority of the City of Cold Lake could also examine the site, adjacent sites, and consider any additional requirements and planning considerations that may apply. The Planning Authority of the City of Cold Lake could then approve the application, approve the application with conditions, or refuse the application.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake and the Municipal District of Bonnyville are concerned that the community could lose important medical services due to doctor shortages at the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre.

The community’s elected officials have heard from front-line healthcare workers that the number of doctors at the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre is insufficient to run both private practices and keep the Emergency Room staffed 24 hours a day.

In 2006 and 2007, the community faced a similar crisis involving potential impacts to the emergency room service, as several doctors either retired or left the community for various reasons. Physician positions were refilled, however, the community has not been able to make progress because of the attrition rate. In 2020, Cold Lake is once again back down to eight physicians who may not be able to maintain the current level of service at the emergency room.

“Our physicians do a tremendous job of meeting our region’s healthcare needs, but they cannot keep up this workload indefinitely,” City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said. “The Cold Lake Healthcare Centre serves a large area, and is known for its excellent health care services. It does not seem fair that they are staffed so that every time one doctor leaves, the rest see their quality of life evaporate as they pick up the slack to keep the emergency room open. Minimal staffing levels are not sustainable for a centre that serves the population the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre does.”

Monday, June 15, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – After a much anticipated wait, parts of the Cold Lake Energy Centre will be reopening to the public on June 16.

Included in the reopening are the Cenovus Energy Wellness Centre, CNRL Walking Track, and access to Booster Juice, which is also opening Tuesday. Other areas of the Energy Centre will remain closed for now, including the arenas, field house, and the climbing wall. Operating hours for the Energy Centre will be from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday to Friday, and 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on the weekend.

“We’re very excited to be able to start the reopening process,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “It’s not as simple as turning the lights on and opening the doors. We had to ensure that new safety protocols were in place, and that staff were available to return to work.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Cold Lake saw over 50 staff see temporary lay-offs, or reassignments to other departments, such as the Golf Course, Marina, and Roads.

Those coming to the Energy Centre are asked to be aware of some new protocols. Only the west doors (the main entrance) will be open, and everyone entering the building will need to hand sanitize, then check in with the front desk for a quick health screening questionnaire, before proceeding to one of the open locations in the building.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – In order to make the best use of available grants, Cold Lake City council voted to fund the $1 million design of the new waste water treatment plant from Municipal Sustainability Initiative dollars available to the City of Cold Lake.

“This project is required to bring our waste water effluent within the ever increasing federal and provincial environmental regulations,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “This is a large and very critical project for our community and the environment and it is exciting to see significant progress on it.”

Over the winter, city staff had arranged for a relatively new waste water treatment process to be studied. Known as a “moving bed biofilm reactor” (MBBR), the process allows a treatment facility to be built much more economically than a facility that would house more traditional treatment processes. A traditional treatment facility that would meet Cold Lake’s needs is estimated to cost anywhere from $50 million to $80 million. The early estimated budget for an MBBR facility is approximately $20 million.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – A plan to extend pavement on 8 Street from 18 Avenue to 20 Avenue had both phases approved at council’s regular meeting held on June 9.

Originally designed to be handled in two phases, persistent issues with storm water run-off and dust in the area led council to approve the project in its entirety. The project, with a total cost of just over $1 million, will be funded from a split between off-site levies, which are contributions from developers, and the Gas Tax Grant.

“This stretch of road has become busier as the area sees more and more development,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “This project will benefit the commuters in the neighbourhood, eliminate dust concerns that nearby residents have had over the years, assist with drainage issues, and prepare for expected future residential development as well. It is a relatively small project, but should have a big impact on the neighbourhood.”

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Black Knot is back this spring, and residents can help keep local trees safe.

Black Knot is a fungal disease that affects Prunus tree species, such as Maydays and choke cherries. The fungus causes brown and black knot-like swelling on the branches of the trees, which if left untreated, will eventually kill the tree and potentially spread to others.

Residents are asked to keep watch for Black Knot this spring and summer, and if spotted, to cut off infected branches.

Here are some tips on how to deal with Black Knot:

  • Prune out the infected branches between late fall and early spring when the plants are dormant and the knots are easier to see
  • Remove the infected branches to at least 15-20 cm (6-8 inches) below the knot
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Council will offset the increase in the city’s 2020 Operational Budget with accumulated surplus from the previous year’s budget, bringing the average increase in municipal taxes paid to zero per cent this year.

The residential tax rate is set at 8.3149, the multi-family residential rate is 8.6439, and the non-residential rate is 12.5435. These rates will generate about $20.6 million from properties within the city, which will then be topped up with just over $254,000 from accumulated surplus to balance the city’s $53.5 million operational budget for 2020. This budget is inclusive of all municipal expenditures and transfers. In 2019, council used just over $555,000 in surplus to achieve an average zero per cent increase as well.

Accumulated surplus is the result of not spending money budgeted for the previous year – often in salaries not spent while positions are being filled, or better-than-expected revenue from investments, for example. 

“Council is challenged with a difficult economy and an uncertain future because of the unprecedented situation due to COVID-19,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Using accumulated surplus again means that we will need additional revenue, or we will have to look at reducing services in the city, to balance the next budget in 2021. With the uncertainty surrounding the economy and the COVID-19 situation, however, council felt the best target was a zero per cent increase.”

The tax rate is a factor used per $1,000 of property value to determine the amount of taxes a property is required to pay for municipal services. Taxes are based on the assessment, which means that a tax rate increase or decrease does not necessarily mean an increase or decrease in the amount of municipal tax a property owner will pay compared to previous years.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Outdoor courts are now open for public use, provided users follow recommended distancing guidelines.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Despite a tough economy and ongoing closures in both the public and private sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Cold Lake is seeing signs of confidence in its future.

Friday, May 22, 2020

The City of Cold Lake’s compost program has seen a significant uptick in use, with over 200 people visiting the transfer station to take compost in a single day.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Outdoor parks and playgrounds in the City of Cold Lake, including the skatepark, are open for use by the public under the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Cold Lake Council has scheduled a statutory public hearing prior to considering a motion that could amend the city’s Land Use Bylaw to allow cannabis micro-processing within the City of Cold Lake’s commercial districts

Friday, May 8, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake is preparing to take steps to open in accordance with the Government of Alberta’s relaunch strategy.

Council has requested that administration reestablish full Council Meetings in council chambers, which has been rearranged to provide for enhanced social distancing for elected officials, administration, and members of the visiting public. Prior meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic response were held with three of the seven elected officials joining the meeting via teleconference.

The Cold Lake Golf and Winter Club and the Cold Lake Marina are also being staffed to prepare to open with the necessary public health restrictions in place.

“It is heartening to see that residents have heeded the Federal and Provincial calls for caution in this time, and we are happy to see this first tentative step towards reopening,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Many people have been without work for an extended period and, once the economy reopens, they are hoping they will have jobs to go back to. By following the Government of Alberta’s lead in opening some businesses and facilities, we hope to save as many businesses and jobs as possible. Government assistance has helped in the interim, but we are also hearing concerns from business owners that the government assistance may be de-incentivizing people from returning to work. We will need a properly functioning economy in order to be sustainable.”

The Cold Lake Marina is scheduled to be opened for the May long weekend, but the actual date of opening is dependent on ice conditions.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Garage sales may be a staple of summer activities, but residents should expect to see less of them this year.

The Province of Alberta is not prohibiting garage sales, and is leaving the decision to each municipality.

“We have been following the recommendations put forth by the Government of Alberta when it comes to COVID-19 and the restrictions that come with it,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We are not going to put a restriction in place at this time, but this could change as the situation with the virus develops.”

Though it is not being prohibited, the City of Cold Lake is not recommending that residents hold or attend any garage sales at this time, and to consider alternative methods to exchange goods. Should a resident feel the need to hold a sale, both sellers and buyers are reminded to obey Public Health Orders, which currently includes:

  • No gatherings over 15 people
  • Maintain a physical distance of two metres

In addition, it is recommended that residents consider e-transfers instead of handling cash, and provide hand sanitizer for both sellers and buyers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake Transit will be reducing its hours of operation in response to COVID-19.

“Ridership has seen an impact with the closures of schools and many businesses in the city,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “A lot of people are staying home right now, which is what the Province of Alberta is asking of all communities – to stay home as much as possible. Unfortunately, this continues to have a significant effect on our local economy as well.”

Council voted to reduce the hours of operation by three hours each day during the week, and remove the Saturday schedule entirely. The new hours would be Monday to Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to the service ending at 6:00 p.m.

Though Cold Lake Transit is still seeing an average of 122 riders per day, this is a decrease from the average 549 riders per day the bus system would normally be seeing this time of year.

The City of Cold Lake is seeing substantial retractions in revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions mixed with no decisions on the I.D. 349 from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs since 2018 and the federal government not paying its share of the municipal taxes in Cold Lake is creating a precarious financial situation for the City and its local economy.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – In keeping with the Government of Alberta’s direction surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Cold Lake is taking steps for the orderly cancellation of summer events likely to be affected by the pandemic.

“Of course we all want life to get back to normal, but with the government signaling a lengthy course of physical distancing and limitations on gatherings, we are taking action to ensure that summer events are cancelled,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “The cancellation of summer events across the province will, of course, be devastating for the economy but to continue to plan for these events when their continuation is unlikely would only serve to put public dollars at risk.”

In response to the cancellation of the 2020 Cold Lake Air Show, the City of Cold Lake is taking steps for the orderly cancellation of the associated Full Throttle Festival, as well as other events such as Canada Day and Aqua Days.

Further to the summer events, the City will be not be accepting any bookings for sports fields throughout the community including the soccer/rugby pitches and baseball/softball fields. The soccer and rugby pitches are considered open spaces for the public to use with proper social distancing measures in accordance to public health rules, but the City will not be booking them for any events, games, or leagues. Other spaces have been closed to the public, such as the Thomas Varughese Artificial Turf Field, ball diamonds, playgrounds structures, outdoor courts, outdoor rinks, skatepark, and splash park.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake Council passed a short-term borrowing bylaw to cash flow its operations through the COVID-19 pandemic and the expected economic fallout.

Administration brought the bylaw to council for consideration after determining that cashing in investments would result in losses greater than the interest that would be charged on the short-term loan. The city has already taken drastic measures to reduce operational costs, including placing a significant number of staff on administrative leave. The employment of over 50 staff members has now been affected through administrative leaves or a reduction in hours. This represents over 35 per cent of the city’s staff.

“We hope that our staff can come back to work soon – and that we do not have to borrow this money to sustain our critical operations through the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have had to take a look at every option available to us to ensure that we can weather this pandemic while providing essential services and maintaining crucial infrastructure,” Mayor Craig Copeland said.

The borrowing bylaw authorizes the city to borrow up to $10 million, and falls in line with measures that a number of other municipalities have taken to ensure the continuity of their operations. The money will only be borrowed if and when needed, which is expected to happen in July, if the current trend continues.

This measure was necessitated by the current economic situation, deferrals to property taxes and utility bills to assist residents, a loss of revenue from closed programs and facilities, no incoming revenue from ID 349 due to the absence of a decision on the city’s sustainability agreement, and the federal government’s continued refusal to pay the entirety of its Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) for its property on CFB Cold Lake.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Due to continued facility closures and a reduction in activity and services as a result of the response to COVID-19, the City of Cold Lake made the decision to issue temporary leaves to over 25 staff members.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake expressed support for the Government of Alberta’s decision to invest in the Keystone XL pipeline.

“In a time when many are struggling to see when and how our lives will return to normal, this represents strong, decisive leadership,” Mayor Craig Copeland said.

Copeland recognized that while many residents are diligently following the guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 response, they are also worried about what the future economy has in store once physical distancing measures are lifted. The expression of support came after today’s news that the Alberta Government’s $1.5 billion investment under an agreement with TC Energy will see work on the pipeline start tomorrow. Once completed, the pipeline will supply refineries with over 830,000 barrels of oil a day.

“People need to be working to take care of themselves and their families and pay the taxes governments use to fund public services: Ultimately, it is our business community that allows governments of all levels to provide the services that they do,” Copeland said. “We cannot leave industry or our business community behind. To do so would decimate the corporate and income tax base that funds the services we hold dear as Canadians. Investment in our energy sector will benefit all Albertans by creating excellent jobs and economic stimulus. The benefit will not only reach all corners of our province, but will also help lift the Canadian economy.”

Monday, March 30, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – With the ever-changing situation surrounding COVID-19 in Alberta, the City of Cold Lake is ensuring its response is in line with the province’s measured approach, based on the advice of medical experts.

Mayor Craig Copeland expressed his thanks for the community’s continued attention and support regarding recommendations.

“I think our community is doing an amazing job in response to the virus,” said Copeland. “There are so many people doing their part to keep our community running, and keeping it safe. From our medical professionals to our city staff and the people working hard under stressful circumstances to make sure essential businesses are staying open, we all have a part to play. We encourage residents to continue to stay informed and comply with the provincial recommendations, which can be found on the AHS website.”

The City of Cold Lake has taken steps to ensure that provincial guidelines are being adhered to in its workplace. This has required closing some facilities, closing others to the public as staff continue to work, and maintaining public access to others, although on a limited basis with increased measures to ensure physical distancing and proper sanitization and hygiene. Measures to ensure the continuity of staffing of essential services, such as the water treatment plant, have been in place and will continue as required. 

The City of Cold Lake administration continues to participate in the Cold Lake COVID-19 Task Force. This ensures an open line of communication between the municipality and Alberta Health Services, which is leading the provincial response. The City of Cold Lake continues to support AHS in its response.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – At its regular meeting on March 24, Cold Lake City Council passed an Operating Budget and amended its Capital Budget for 2020. The budgets outline a total of just under $44.3 million in operational spending and $8.8 million in capital projects.

The budget forecasts an average municipal tax increase of 1.11 per cent. It should be noted that the tax increase forecast may vary in either direction depending on the economic impacts relating to COVID-19, as the city continues to consider ways to lessen the impacts to local residents and business.

In 2019, budgets were passed with about $43 million in operational spending and $23.33 million in capital projects, by comparison.

“This is very much a hold-the-line budget that seeks to get our community through some very uncertain times,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “With the price of oil and the COVID-19 situation causing uncertainties, the future of the ID 349 still in limbo, and the city’s intermunicipal collaboration framework being uncompleted, we’ve held fast to as much as we can, but we will have to put many capital projects on hold as we see what the future has in store.”

The 2020 budget contains no increases to staffing levels or to levels of service. It continues to maintain an allowance for uncollectable taxes due to the ongoing dispute over Payment in Lieu of Taxes with the Federal Government for the Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake (also known as 4 Wing Cold Lake) and the Cold Lake Golf and Winter Club. The allowance for 2020 is in the amount of $1.2 million which forms part of the Government of Canada’s outstanding invoice totaling $22.2 million. Of the total outstanding amount, the Government of Alberta is seeking $2.9 million for its portion of the Education Tax.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Council voted unanimously to allow for the deferment of property tax payments and utility bills for Cold Lake residents and businesses, offering relief during the COVID-19 response.

Monthly property tax payments being made under the Tax Installment Payments Plan (TIPPS) and payments on utility bills are both being given a three-month deferral of payments for the months of April, May, and June 2020.

During this time, any unpaid utility bills will not be transferred to taxes; utilities and accounts receivable invoices will not be subject to late penalty fees, and there will be no service disconnects for late payment and no non-sufficient-funds (NSF) charges.

The TIPPS program allows taxpayers to make equal monthly installments for their taxes between January and December of any year, without being subject to a tax penalty. Under the current bylaw, taxpayers can miss two installments without being removed from the TIPPS program, but council has since extended this provision, temporarily, to three months. Any amounts being deferred on the TIPPS program will be adjusted for the remainder of 2020.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake COVID-19 task force continues to work with Alberta Health Services to assist its efforts and share the latest information in response to COVID-19.

The city is encouraging residents to continue to follow provincial guidelines and self-isolate when required. Administration is preparing options for Council to defer any municipal bills, including utility and property tax bills, and will provide and update at a later date.

As the situation across Alberta evolves, the city is preparing to adapt to any changes required, assessing what resources could be needed to assist AHS in its response.

“Our understanding is that there is one confirmed case in the Cold Lake area at this time,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We’re encouraging residents to continue to remain calm, and to visit AHS’s online resources for the most up-to-date information.

“Alberta’s supply chains are robust and well established. People need to understand that supply chains are tailored to community demand and that our local business community serves us well. We know that there are enough goods to support our community and that there is no need for hoarding: That behaviour only serves to bring about the very situation people hope to avoid by creating a sense of panic over supposed scarcity. This is unnecessary.”

Mayor Copeland has been in contact with leaders in the local business community who have confirmed that supply chains remain intact and they are adjusting to the current situation.  Businesses have seen an increase in demand with the added challenge of adjusting to staff members who have had to self-isolate, or take time off of work in response to school and daycare closures.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Following an announcement by the Alberta Government this afternoon, the City of Cold Lake will be making changes to facility operations.

The Parent Link Centre remains closed, though Cold Lake and District FCSS is currently open for limited access.

The Cold Lake Energy Centre will be closed to the public by the end of the day on March 17, 2020, as per guidelines from the Provincial Government. We understand that memberships may be impacted, and compensation or extensions will be considered in due time.

City Hall remains open, though residents are encouraged to practice social distancing by phoning with any inquiries, and refrain from entering the building if you are feeling sick. City Hall can be reached at 780-594-4494.

Included in the Provincial Government release are guidelines such as:

Friday, March 13, 2020

The City of Cold Lake and Alberta Health Services (AHS) have opened up lines of communication and are monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake Council voted to provide interim funding for the Cold Lake Parent Link Centre’s programming up to April 30, 2020, to provide time for details about the provincial government’s pending Family Resource Network program to become known.

In early November, the Government of Alberta announced that it would be cancelling grants and contracts with the 300 organizations that operate Parent Link Centres, effective March 31, 2020. The Government of Alberta’s Children’s Services Family and Community Resiliency Division is currently examining proposals from organizations to provide services for children ages 0-18 years, as well as to their parents and caregivers, under a new Family Resource Network model.

The City of Cold Lake, through Cold Lake and District FCSS, has submitted a bid to provide services under the new model.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Local businesses will see another year of the Business Retention and Attraction Incentive Program (BRAIP).

“We had nine businesses take part in the program in 2019, which was more than any previous year,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “That showed us there was still a lot of interest in the program, and we would like to continue offering a tax break to the businesses spending time and funds to enhance their businesses.”

Businesses approved for BRAIP receive a financial incentive in the form of a municipal tax rebate, after they enhance existing buildings, construct new buildings or additions, or demolish existing buildings.

“The quality of renovations that have come through over the years is outstanding,” said Copeland. “It’s an investment in our community, and we’re happy to continue providing help through this program.”

Since the policy was developed in 2010, the BRAIP policy has undergone a few revisions, including increasing the amount of the received tax rebate from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of the difference in the pre-and-post construction tax levy.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake City Council passed an interim operating budget and a minimal capital budget for 2020.
While the City of Cold Lake generally passes a completed budget for both operational and capital spending before the New Year, uncertainties surrounding the municipal property tax revenue from ID 349 has prompted the need for an interim budget.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake’s Infrastructure Services Department took home the top prize for its Public Works Celebrations in 2019, earning provincial recognition for its efforts to raise awareness about the importance of public works.  

It is the fourth year in a row that Cold Lake has earned the top honours in Alberta for its efforts.

“This is a strong showing, and great evidence that the community supports the effort that the men and women in our Public Works Department put into making this city run,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “It is not often recognized, or even realized, that these staff members are getting calls at all hours to help with sewer line breaks, waterline breaks, and snow clearing – in addition to the work they do to help build and maintain our infrastructure.”

The award for the top National Public Works Week Celebrations – Large Community was presented to Transportation Services Manager George Urlacher and General Manager of Infrastructure Services, Azam Khan, at the Alberta Chapter of the American Public Works Association’s annual conference and trade show on October 9. Mayor Craig Copeland was also surprised with an award for Exemplary Service to Public Works at the same event. This was followed up by a visit from the President of APWA’s Alberta Chapter, Garry Webster, on November 13, who congratulated public works staff and council for their achievements in raising awareness of what public works staff do and the importance of their work in the community.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake has been advised of the provincial government’s intent to cancel grants and contracts with organizations that operate Parent Link Centres across the province and roll out a new service delivery model early next year.

The decision will affect the Cold Lake Parent Link Centre, operated by the City’s Cold Lake and District Family and Community Support Services. On Thursday, November 6, the government opened up expressions of interest so that organizations can bid on managing and providing children’s services under a new model that will be implemented after March 31, 2020. Cold Lake and District FCSS is working to understand the new service delivery model to see if it will enter a bid under the program.

“We have a tremendous amount of respect for the work that our FCSS and Parent Link Centres do,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Our community values these services and we will look at all opportunities available, understanding that the Government of Alberta may have new priorities for programs and services for children, youth and family.”

The Cold Lake Parent Link Centre had over 22,500 visits over the course of 2018 and hosted a wealth of programming geared towards providing families with a caring, safe place to play and learn together. It was funded through provincial Children’s Services grants that will not be renewed in their current form past March 31, 2020. The City of Cold Lake also provides additional funding to Cold Lake and District FCSS to maintain extended hours at the Parent Link Centre.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake has applied for and received approval for a rebate Recreation Energy Conservation (REC) Program offer through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) towards the lighting retrofit project at the Cold Lake Energy Centre.

“We are excited to get started with this retrofit,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Not only will this standardize lighting so that the older phases of the Energy Centre will match the new construction, but it will reduce operating costs and save a significant amount of power needed for lighting a large and very well-used facility.”

The Energy Centre lighting retrofit project involves the replacement of existing fluorescent lighting fixtures in both the Imperial Oil Place Arena and the Reid Field House, with new LED technology.  Retrofit of the Imperial Oil Place Arena involved replacement of 198 fixtures resulting in an estimated annual savings of 168,910 KwH equated to an estimated $10,357.59 in annual cost savings.  The Reid Field House would have 119 fixtures retrofitted resulting in an estimated annual savings of 76,647 Kwh equating to an estimated $4,577.35 in annual cost savings.

The REC Program helps municipally-owned recreation facilities reduce energy use and GHG emissions by providing financial rebates to help identify energy-saving opportunities and implement energy-saving projects.  The rebate equates to either 75 per cent of the Energy Conservation Measure (ECM) or the amount required to reach a one year simple payback, whichever is lesser.

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